Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Inspire and Guide

This is my 7th year of teaching.

When I first started teaching I wanted students to be eager to learn. I wanted to make learning fun.

During my second year of teaching I felt more comfortable with daily teaching. I no longer felt that "trying to keep my head above water" that most of us feel during our first year of teaching. This is the year that I joined PRoteacher forums and noticed a lot of threads about "power teaching." (Now called Whole brain Teaching.). I started implanting strategies and was amazed at how much better my management became.

During my third year of teaching I decided to use my intervention certification and use what I had learned to differentiate almost everything! I started guided math, differentiated spelling etc. This is the year that I also started using all 5 of the daily 5 rounds. My Reading buddy teacher introduced it to me during my first year of teaching.

During my 4th year of teaching, I started using the Bucket Fillers philosophy. I noticed a great improvement in student attitudes. I also started using the behavior clip chart system and loved the meaning behind it, "we all make mistakes-learn from them."

During my fifth year of teaching I started working more on challenging the higher level thinkers. This is still a work in progress! I also started creating more of my materials to make things "just right." This was also BY FAR my toughest year of teaching. By mid year I started looking for other non-teaching related jobs with benefits. Even though I left crying many days a week from school- I wouldn't change a thing about this year. I researched and learned/ created many different behavior strategies but I also learned that through the toughest shell of a kid is a very vulnerable and loving kid. One of my many challenges this year- during the end of the year class slideshow- crawled up on my lap- hugged me and sobbed about the next day being summer. Coming from a child who verbally abused me all year- it was one of the most touching moments that I will always cherish. It was an eye opener and reminder that this is the career where my heart is.

During my 6th year of teaching- (last year). I moved to a new district. I learned the value of being on the same page as my teammates. Being on the same page allows time to share resources and even help with copying!!!

This year even though the students haven't started- and only from 1 principal staff meeting- I have been inspired. Not inspired like the items listed above- but inspired to inspire my kids. I have a brand new principal this year and she is amazing! We share many of the same beliefs and philosophies. I have never been in such a inspiring meeting/ seminar/ conference before. Everything from using classroom management/ cooperative learning techniques to manage us (which is my idea for teaching a college class) to how she delivered all of the changes to the school were inspiring. So for my 7th year of teaching- I am going to inspire and guide my students.
Here is my first idea to achieve my goal:
-make a "I wonder wall"
This will be similar to my GOOGLE it poster. I am going to create a wall with individual subject posters like, "math", "reading", "science", "history", "writing", "other". Then I will keep post it notes nearby. Students will be allowed to write "I wonders.." And stick them on the wall. For example: "I wonder if a square or triangle would roll better?" Then on Fridays- I have set aside a cooperative learning block. I will choose one post-it note weekly and we will work in groups to figure it out. Some weeks I may need to borrow the mobile lab for students to complete a web quest or something.
This is my hope- and I HOPE that it will work!

My students start tomorrow and I am REALLY excited!!! I better go to bes and dream about June! :-)



  1. I love your recap of your career, Danielle! I am entering year 10 and every year is a new adventure. :) Have a great first day!

    A Very Curious Class

  2. Hi Danielle,

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